Tuesday 10 November 2009

House of Lords on EU Stockholm Programme

The European Union Committee of the House of Lords has published a short report The Stockholm Programme: home affairs ─ Report with evidence (9 November 2009; HL Paper 175; 32 pages).

Since the purpose of this post is just to highlight the publication, here is a quote on the background of the Stockholm programme and the contents of the report:

“On 10 June 2009 the Commission published a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled “An area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizen”. This was considered at an informal JHA Council on 16–17 July 2009. The Swedish Presidency has prepared a draft of a new five-year programme—the Stockholm Programme—based on the Commission Communication, and this is likely to be approved by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 30 November, and adopted by the European Council on 10–11 December 2009. This programme will then form the agenda for EU justice and home affairs legislation from 2010 to the end of 2014.

In this brief inquiry, conducted by Sub-Committee F,3 we have looked only at the home affairs content of that Communication.

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon all third pillar matters will, instead of requiring unanimity among the Member States, be adopted by qualified majority voting in the Council and codecision with the European Parliament. Virtually all initiatives under the Stockholm Programme will then apply to the United Kingdom only if the Government opt in.”


The area of freedom, security and justice (usually justice and home affairs in British parlance) develops rapidly, contains interesting conflicts between freedoms and security aspects and it will become more of a normal EU policy area under the Lisbon Treaty (with regard to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters).

The House of Lords reports on EU affairs are usually worth reading.

Ralf Grahn

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